The Apple – Catherine Mary Stewart, Vladek Sheybal

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So anyway, in case you haven’t figured out, The Apple is a “Biblical” musical featuring Alphie and Bibi as Adam and Eve, with Bibi taking a bite out of the apple, which is expressed rather subtly in this number:

Holy apple
Sacred apple
Take a little chance,
Get into a trance,
And join me in the apple dance.

Allan Love in a speedo. Try not to look at it.

So, now the movie gets weird. (Wha?) Yes, pretty soon, the BIM facist philosophy is running the world, Orwell-style, and everybody is forced to wear that annoying triangle patch on their foreheads, or risk arrest. And every day, at a certain time, people must drop whatever their doing and do an exercise/dance. (“Citizens, attention! Counting down to BIM hour! Join in the national fitness program! 5, 4, 3, 2, BIM!”) This means everybody – coke bottlers, biker gangs, nuns, doctors in surgery, firefighters, old people – everyone must drop what they are doing and dance to “Hey Hey Hey, BIM’s on the way!” over and over and over again. It’s like the 2 minutes hate of 1984, except that it’s us the viewers who are being hated on.

The Apple - The Mark of BIM
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their foreheads; And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

So there’s a lot more crap, like Boogalow’s bulldog-looking bodyguards kicking Alphie’s ass, followed by a love song where Alphie and Bibi sing their love for one another. Alphie goes to Boogalow to get him to release her from her contract (fat chance) and instead he gets seduced by Grace Kennedy in a goofy, Diana-Ross-inspired number that goes like this:

Coming/Coming For You
Come and take me/And shape me/And mold me/And make me/And fill me up with your fire/Come do anything to me your little heart desires!
Come to me/Come do me/ I’ll come for you
Make it harder and harder/And faster and faster/
And when you think you can’t keep it up
I’ll take you deeper and deeper/And tighter and tighter
And drain every drop of your love

The Apple - Seduction Scene
Mommy, what is she talking about?

Wow, subtle, isn’t she? Wait… this was rated PG?

Anyway, Alphie wakes up in a park and meets an old guy who introduces him to a bunch of – as he puts it: “refugees from the 60s. Otherwise known as hippies!” Yes, it’s a hippie commune living in the park, and Alphie soon joins them. Meanwhile, Pandi no longer believes in the BIM, and frees Bibi, who seeks Alphie out. A year later, the two are married and living with the dirty dirty hippie types when Boogalow suddenly shows up with the facist police force, his trusty dog Shake, the bulldog bodyguards, and a bunch of lawyers in tow. They are about to arrest everybody when the ultimate deus-ex-machina happens. Yes, that means “deus” arrives from heaven in his ghostly cadillac, which floats down from the sky. Except he calls himself “Mr. Topps” and he has decided to take Alphie, Bibi, followed by Pandi and all the 60s refugees, to a new planet, so they can start over again – and this time, without Mr. Boogalow to mess things up. “But my dear Topps, you know that isn’t possible. How can the world exist without me?” “Let’s give it a try,” replies Mr. Topps, and they all go off into hippie heaven.

The Apple - Mr. Topps
Topp one, nice one, get sorted

So, the devil causing suffering and death for thousands of years, followed by corruption of the youth with shallow, insipid disco-pop wasn’t enough to get God to intervene. No, the straw breaking the camel’s back was the imminent arrest of hippies.

The Apple is the insane offspring of a decadent orgy involving, Hair, Grease, George Orwell, the Old Testament, and the book of Revelation. The question isn’t whether the cast and crew were doing drugs – it’s what drugs were they doing, and how many. The flick features a cute Catherine Mary Stewart who is dubbed over in all musical sequences by professional singer Mary Hylan because G&G didn’t think she was good enough (even though she apparently was able to do the job). Hey, at least Catherine Mary Stewart still has a nice career. In comparison, a quick trip to IMDB tells what happened to poor George Gilmour – nothing. Nothing whatsoever.

The Apple - Joss Ackland as Mr. Topps
I’m Topps, MuthaF**ka!

It’s the ultimate in kitsch, or camp, or perhaps both. How can this be? Watch the movie. I’ll say this for it: for all the excessiveness and trashiness of this ill-advised venture, which aimed to cash in on the dying disco/rock-opera/musical craze and failed miserably, I definitely wasn’t bored watching it. I wouldn’t change a thing. Is it worse (better?) than Xanadu or Can’t Stop the Music, two other “musicals” released in 1980? No. And Yes. One thing that I find amusing is that it portrays pop and disco as the devil’s music, and finds salvation in the free-love philosophy of the 60s counterculture types. Wow, man. Forget Britney Spears and Lady GaGa; just turn on, tune in, drop out, and find God. You have no idea how much I want to see the sequel Apple II: Electric Boogalow.

Here’s another interesting piece of information: the choreographer for The Apple was Nigel Lythgoe, who partially created/produced So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol. So now when you want to know where American Idol gets its horrible inspiration from, you can trace it back to this movie, which correctly predicted the rise of crappy music competitions and the corrupting influence of awful pop garbage on the minds of the masses. They just were a little early, that’s all.

– Bill Gordon

Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal) in The Apple
I am positively EVIL!

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